Lochmueller Group (Lochgroup) is a key partner in a joint venture working on a large-scale study of the transportation needs in the Alton-Godfrey area. The project will assess the need for new or modified access, and if warranted, to plan and design the infrastructure necessary to serve these regional transportation needs. The study is following the National Environmental Planning Act (NEPA) process and will involve extensive public involvement through the Illinois Department of Transportation Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) protocol.
As an initial step, Lochgroup completed travel demand forecasts to establish a year 2040 baseline (“no-build”) traffic forecast. As alternatives are developed, the model will be employed to gauge the relative traffic impacts of various access options.
Also, stakeholder engagement has begun. Lochgroup helped coordinate public meetings and the establishment of a Community Advisory Group. Through the CSS process, local stakeholders will help guide the study to provide results that match the needs and character of the community.
As the study progresses, Lochgroup will continue to help guide the project through the NEPA process. Lochgroup will also lead efforts related to transportation planning and traffic engineering, while assisting with public involvement and highway design. The end result will be recommendations that enhance quality of life in the region and serve all users of the transportation system.
This county-wide Transportation Study came at an important time for Clark County. The extension of I-265 and its new crossing of the Ohio River will greatly impact the transportation network throughout the county, decreasing traffic volumes on many surface streets while increasing volumes on roads that provide interstate connections.
The reconstruction and capacity expansion of the I-65 Kennedy Bridge in the downtowns of Jeffersonville and Louisville will also bring much needed traffic congestion relief and changes to the local street networks. Finally, major employment and multimodal facilities such as the River Ridge Commerce Center and improvements at the Port of Indiana require changes to the transportation network to support continued growth.
The Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) and Clark County hired Lochmueller Group to produce the study. It covers the entire county, including all cities and towns and the full transportation network: vehicular, transit, pedestrian, bicycle, and freight. It identified deficiencies in the existing network, analyzed alternatives to correct these deficiencies, and recommended an implementation plan.
The process involved technical analysis by traffic engineers and professionals, guidance and input from a Project Study Team made up of representatives from local governmental and transportation-related agencies, and comments and suggestions from the public at multiple open houses.
The final product truly represented a comprehensive transportation plan. Recommended road projects ranged from small scale, spot improvements such as intersection upgrades, to larger scale new terrain roadways that connected major employment centers. The study also identified needed transit and freight projects and areas in need of public bus routes. And finally the study tied together each local city’s pedestrian/trail plans into a single network.
Lochgroup provided a comprehensive assessment of the current state of the multimodal transportation system within the Jackson-Williamson County metropolitan area. This study aided the newly formed Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO) in prioritizing future planning and construction projects while also serving as a foundation for the long-range transportation plan due in 2016.
This study included the following:
- An assessment of the current multimodal transportation system within the entire SIMPO planning area
- Identification of traffic bottlenecks, incomplete connections, infrastructure conditions, and safety concerns
- Identification of critical transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facility needs
- Recommendation of high-priority, multimodal projects and identification of funding sources
This study also engaged the communities and stakeholders served by SIMPO to ensure their diverse needs are represented in the regional planning process. The study also provided the member agencies a chance to learn the process required to prioritize projects as part of a Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Lochgroup worked closely with the Study Oversight Team, which is made up of SIMPO staff and members of the Technical Advisory Committee, to produce a comprehensive assessment that serves as a valuable tool for future transportation planning. As a result, Lochgroup’s contract was amended to include the preparation of a Long-Range Traffic Forecast for the SIMPO Planning Area and a GIS-referenced inventory of the MPO’s existing sidewalk and bicycle facilities.